TURF: Co-Produced by the Artists, presented by Misa Kelly Dances
3 great cities known for their vibrant dance scenes and cosmic class artistry - expect to be moved, uplifted, humored and inspired!
Los Angeles
Nancy Evans Doede  

Gallery of Images

About TURF


September 1, 2016


Press Contact: Misa Kelly



Misa Kelly Dances presents TURF at the Electric Lodge and the Gail Towbes Center for Dance



Expect to be moved, shifted, inspired, humored and uplifted!


Choreographers from these 3 great cities, known for being hotbeds of creativity, co-produce these up close and intimate studio showings.

Santa Barbara, CA - September 1, 2016 – “TURF” at the Electric Lodge on November 5th at 4:00 pm and at the Gail Towbes Center for Dance on November 6th at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $10 INFO: mdkellydances.com


"An artist as one blade of grass, all alone, coping with the survival elements? Or, as a community with interwoven root systems, they have the potential to generate a powerful sense of turf. Turf because dancers are a fierce breed: courage, heart, poetry, rich souls.  As a dance maker, I liken them to wild horses. So, given it is my turn to lead in terms of community production, I wanted to use a metaphor that serves wild ponies well.”

Turf tender Misa for the community


TURF is an outgrowth of a progressive arts community seeking sustainable ways to share their work with the world. The project builds on the base of Misa Kelly’s 20 years experience producing and co-producing locally, nationally, and internationally - initially as the Artistic Director of SonneBlauma Danscz Theater, then as a collaborator and co-creator with ArtBark International, a co-producer with the HIVE initiative, and volunteering production support to Cybil Gilbertson’s NECTAR.  It follows a streamlined cooperative model in which artists share production costs and tasks and receive a percentage of ticket sales. They co-produce with intention using a co-created value base and using principles of conscious leadership (conscious.is.) Artists will also share their creative offerings on November 5th at 1:00 pm at Pieter in Los Angeles and on November 6th at 6 pm at the Gail Towbes Center for Dance Tickets. Additionally, the project will host a master class by Barbara Mahler on Thursday November 3rd, 11:00 am, at the Montecito School of Ballet.

DIGITAL PHOTOS: http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-JZhb2Q/


The TURF Artists:

SANTA BARBARA Mindy Nelson, E. Bonnie Lewis, Ken Gilbert, Misa Kelly, Stephen Kelly, Valarie Mulberry NEW YORK Trina Mannino, Barbara Mahler LOS ANGELES Nancy Evans Doede


The Creative Work

E. Bonnie Lewis and Ken Gilbert (DramaDogs – a Theater Company) will present a theatrical work drawing from the theme of Hamlet, in the short form. 


Valarie Mulberry will open the Santa Barbara creative offering with a selection of original songs welcoming the audience with her “powerhouse vocals” and humorous, witty, and playful song introductions.

Misa Kelly (ArtBark Co-Founder, Misa Kelly Dances) will be sharing ??? - a meditation on the creative prompt of - What's the Solution? The work was recently performed in a duet form at Triskelion Arts for HIVE: New York. Kelly will be dancing this work as a solo which uses dance, physical theater, and storytelling.

Stephen Kelly (ArtBark Co-Founder) will be presenting a new work set on two local dancers, Nikki Pfeiffer and Nicole Powell. The dance will embody a juxtaposition of honed, demanding movement with spontaneous task-oriented challenges. 

Mindy Nelson will premiere a new modern dance solo carving through space with her bold, poetic, striking style of movement honed by a professional career in New York before returning to the area to start a family and settle down.

Barbara Mahler’s interest, her passion, “is the body – the limitless possibilities of the body as an expressive instrument, to carry a story, create an environment.” Her primary interest is in solo work and she will perform a work from her extensive repertoire.

Trina Mannino (ArtBarker) presents Ghost Duet, premiered at Triskelion Arts in Brooklyn in May of 2016.  Ghost Duet investigates the challenges of maintaining details in a long distance dance collaboration and what pleasant surprises can emerge from physical separation. Artist/maker Ann Hamilton says: "In a time when successive generations of technology amplify human presence at distances for greater than the reach of the hand, what becomes the place and form of making at the scale and pace of the individual body?"

Nancy Evans Dance Theater is presenting a work by Rebecca R. Levy. "Three tasks was created based on a prompt given by me to all members of my company requiring them to use a process that they had not used before. I came to this solo trying to find a way to create within a very tight schedule. I figured that I was able to dedicate exactly five minutes to creating new dance everyday.  I assigned myself three tasks, daily: choreographing, writing, and meditating; each done for five minutes. Regardless of what I did during the day, I had to do those three things at some point within the 24 hour period. Whatever was created in those five minutes I was "required" (based on my own rules) to keep. I recorded every day on my iPhone so I wouldn't forget. On day 23, I began to re-teach myself all of the small sessions of choreography I had during the month. Gradually I edited 20 minutes of material to an 8 minute piece."



Event Information: Barbara Mahler Master class will take place Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 11 am. Reservation Information: $5 low dough, $18 suggested. Payable at the door. Venue information: the Montecito School of Ballet in Santa Barbara at 529 E. Gutierrez, Santa Barbara, CA 93103. The venue is accessible via the 101 freeway. Garden Street exit, uptown to Haley, right on Haley, left on Salsipuedes. Parking at the studio and on the street.


Event Information: TURF will take place on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 6 pm Ticket Information: Tickets to TURF are $10 and can be purchased online at mdkellydances.com

Venue Information: The Gail Towbes Center for Dance is located in Santa Barbara at 2285 Las Positas Rd Santa Barbara, CA 93105.  The venue is accessible via the 101 Freeway, the Las Positas exit.



Event Information: TURF will take place on Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 1 pm Ticket Information: Tickets to TURF are $10 and are available at the door.

Venue Information: Pieter is located in Los Angeles at 420 West Avenue 33, Los Angeles, CA 90031. 



Barbara Mahler has been an active member of the New York City dance community as a choreographer, performer, body-worker and movement educator for over 30 years. Her choreography draws upon the intricate possibilities, textures, time, space and the (her) body to create dances, which create architectural and emotional landscapes. Consistent with her teaching vision, her choreography seeks to explore the endless possibilities that the body can reveal. It is often spare and articulate. She has traveled extensively as a guest artist around the globe and has received support from the Gothenburg (Sweden) Cultural Council, a Sage Cowls Land Grant UWN; 92 Street Y and Hunter College, and others. Recent travels include Tel Aviv, Vienna, Ireland, Chile, and London. Her most recent space grant, August 2015, a LIFT OFF Artist for the creation of or re-visitation of movement material, funding to create new work at Wilson College, PA (March 2015) and resetting of "Etched Sketches" on the Company of Adrienne Clancy in Silver Springs MD, including Master Classes at Dance Place.  Barbara was also a chosen artist for EMERGE 2014. A Movement Research artist in Residence for two seasons, her ongoing and consistent teaching status (2004-present) supports her artistic products and process. barbaramahler.net


Mindy Nelson, after graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Dance and Business Economics, Mindy Nelson moved to NYC to pursue her dance career.  She returned to SB a few years ago with her husband where they live with their two boys. sprucedbymindy.com

Misa Kelly is an award winning, multi-disciplinary artist whose choreography, visual, performance and installation art has been exhibited across the USA andEurope. Passionate about community building her innovative program designs and organizational efforts have helped over 1,000 artists over the past 20 years. Her choreography in ArtBark’s Alma.Alone was described as “perfect dance poetics with superior movement vocabulary” in the Slovenian publication Parada Plesa.  brutifuloutsiderart.us


Stephen Kelly is a classically trained pianist who has performed solo concerts in France, Spain, and Costa Rica, as well as across the United States. As a choreographer, in addition to setting work on ArtBark, he has been privileged to work with some of the finest professional dancers from the Colorado Ballet, State Street Ballet, and Santa Barbara Dance Theater.  artbark.org

Rebecca R. Levy is a choreographer, performer and educator who has lived and worked in Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Jacksonville, FL. She is a founding member, and artistic director of Jacksonville Dance Theatre, a critically acclaimed modern dance repertory and performance art company based in Jacksonville, FL.  Rebecca's choreographic work has been featured in festivals and concerts internationally and throughout the country.  She toured nationally for six seasons as a soloist with Lineage Dance Company of Los Angeles. Rebecca was founder, and served as co-artistic director of the Los Angeles based B.E. Productions Dance Company for eight seasons. Rebecca is currently Professor of Dance & Director of the Dance Repertory Company at Florida State College at Jacksonville. She holds her MFA in Choreography from California Institute of the Arts, is registered Certified Yoga Instructor, and a certified Pilates instructor. jacksonvilledancetheatre.org


Trina Mannino has performed with Anabella Lenzu’s Dance/Drama, ArtBark International, Barbara Mahler, Dance Elixir and Laura Peterson Choreography. She presently studies with Barbara Mahler and Janet Panetta. Her performance in ArtBark’s Alma.Alone was described as “subtle, intellectual and sophisticated” in the Slovenian publication Parada Plesa. In addition to performing, Trina works as a writer for Dance Europe Magazine and The Dance Enthusiast. trinamannino.com   


Valarie Mulberry has performed live regularly up and down the California Coast and honing her craft for the better part of a decade.  She has written and self-released an exceptional album worthy of wider praise and attention. This full-length album, titled "The Simple Things," showcases 10 songs that demonstrate her evocative voice and talent for combining memorable hooks with her often wise lyrics. Her “Sunshine Rhythm & Blues” style also delves into a diverse mix of pop, soul, Americana and blues, with several songs expressing her unique blend of Americana and soul. valariemulberry.com


Nancy Evans Doede studied and danced for modern dance pioneer, Hanya Holm, and then danced with the Nancy Hauser Dance Company under the direction of Nancy McKnight Hauser.  She also taught and choreographed while with the company, and her choreography was included in the Hauser Company repertory. She conducted the pilot program for the Minneapolis performing arts high school and maintained her own dance company while in Minnesota.  Nancy was an original member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, where she was an actress and the company’s first female director. In Los Angeles, she was an assistant director at the Taper, Too, and a directing intern at the Mark Taper Forum New Works Festival.  She was a producer of the Children of the World Project which received a Grammy nomination in 1985; Managing Director, producer, director and actress with the Actors’ Company, as well as a founding member of Outpost Theatre Ensemble where she also wrote and produced her own plays. Nancy has been a guest teacher at the Pasadena Dance Festival since its inception, and was a guest festival teacher at the National High School Dance Festival in Miami in 2010.  She launched Nancy Evans Dance Theatre in June of 2010. nancyevansdancetheatre.com



Misa Kelly Dances is a project of ARTBARK

Acclaimed as “forward thinking artists” by the Santa Barbara Independent, ArtBark International, builds on the travel, visual art and performance experiences of award winning California-based founders Misa and Stephen Kelly and their collaborators around the globe. Their present activities embrace innovative ways of organizing that serve to shift the paradigm of how professional artists come together and grow as they work across the United States and the Atlantic through the Internet, performances and residencies. They are committed to staying abreast of how the field is evolving by inviting artists to participate in the organization's ADaPT Festival Series and Affinity Project in New York and California. ArtBark International’s work has been performed at AFL Kultur Merzkezi in Istanbul, ARC Pasadena in California, The Cankarjev Dom in Ljubljana, Center for Performance Research in New York, contraMASS Galerie and Palais Kabelwerk in Vienna, and studio Le Regard du Cygne in Paris, among others. Most recently, the collective premiered the evening length work Alma.Sama, described as “perfect poetry,” in Ljubljana, Slovenia and produced by the Cankarev Dom. artbark.org